This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Comité Picabia.
Sale: Christie's, New York, May 9, 2000, lot 359 Acquired at the above sale
In Transparence (Maternité), a mother and child are combined with delicate foliage to create an image of maternal adoration and timelessness evocative of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus. In discussing Picabia’s re-interpretation of the art of the Old Masters, critics have compared his paintings to those of Pablo Picasso, often incorrectly characterizing Picabia as Picasso’s follower. Maria-Lluïsa Borràs, however, argues that it was Picabia who pioneered this style: “Picabia was in fact anticipating by over fifteen years the Picasso who was to take as his theme works by Cranach, Altdorfer, Poussin and Courbet—or the Picasso of the fifties who, before the adoring eyes of the specialists, was to transform the works of El Greco, Delacroix, Velázquez and even Manet in ways not fundamentally different from that used by Picabia in the twenties” (Maria-Lluïsa Borràs, Picabia, New York, 1985, p. 292).
Executed on light brown wove paper. There is light mat stain around the extremes perimeter. Light wave to the paper and some minor scattered creases throughout, most notably a light 10 inch long horizontal creasing in the upper center of the composition. There is a pinhole in the top right corner. Overall very good condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.